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The Distance Between Us

My bones may be weak and my flesh may be dry, but I wont ask for your pity. You believe you are strong and powerful. In fact, you believe you own the world. You wear your Armani, sip your Latte, and think you control your own destiny. Perhaps you are right. You believe life could not get any better than this. You graduated from a top school; youíve got the job and youíve got the girl. You even have a lovely Penthouse with a view overlooking the Hudson. I live in an old apartment, with two cats. They are lovely cats, but they donít seem to answer when I speak to them. Not all the time anyway. You belong to a country club, and go horseback riding there in your spare time. They must be powerful stallions, fed with country club cuisines. On Sundays you go to church to impress your wifeís parents. I must admit that they are great parents to raise a woman like her. She wants to save the world from poverty and violence. You pretend to care. She completes you more than any of the girls youíve played around with in your younger years. You always were so charming and bright. Sometimes I wish I had your life. Perhaps things would have been different for me. Perhaps I wouldnít feel so alone. I donít mind the silence though. Did I tell you? I have two cats. I named them Kelly and Shelly. They have the most beautiful eyes. Sometimes, when itís cold at night, theyíll crawl into my bed to and keep me warm. If Iím lonely enough, I can hear them speak to me. They tell me stories, of lost Kingdoms and great tragedies. They tell me of far away lands, of heroes and saints. Sometimes I wish I were like them. They are such great cats, and great friends. Am I losing my sanity? But then again, I have no one to judge me.

It gets colder every day here. I would turn the heater up, but the social security checks donít pay enough. I donít really mind though. I have my cats to keep me warm. And donít worry, because I have enough to eat every month. On Sundays, the newspapers usually come with packets of coupons. I like cutting them, because it is a great way to kill time. Time, I wish there was no such thing. I sleep a lot lately because I am too tired to do anything else. I try to watch the T.V., put I canít really understand most of the shows that they air these days. Iíve tried reading books, but my eyesight isnít as good as it used to be. You are lucky that you donít need to worry about that. Youíre in great shape arenít you? Although Iím jealous, Iím happy for you, and Iím glad that youíre living the life of your dreams.

How are the kids? Are they growing up fast? Do they have their motherís eyes? Or do they have yours? Are you being good to them? Do you feed them a lot of sweets and candy? Do they cherish you? Iím sure theyíll grow up to be great. When they were younger, did you bounce them on your knees, and play Superman? Or did you leave them with the babysitter who watched TV and talked on the phone all the time? Forget it, I shouldnít even be asking you. It is your life, and none of my business.

I know that I was never good to you. I know I spent more time with Mr. Jack Daniels than I did with your homework. And sometimes I hit you too hard, too often. I should have realized it when you cried. Even when you bled, it didnít occur to me that I was wrong. I know that I should have paid attention to you when you talked. I know I should have hugged you more. At least, I should have pretended to love you. The fact is I never did. You know that, and I know that. I never asked for you to be born. And I never asked for your mother to die when you came into the world. Yes, I admit I blamed you. But what difference does it make now. She is gone, just like I will soon be gone. And where will you be when the day comes? Will you be at the country club, in your penthouse, or at church with your wife and her parents? Where will I be I often ask myself? Will I be on the couch, or in bed? Will my cats be there with me to say their farewells? Despite of the distance between us, I just wanted to say that I am proud of you. You turned into the man that I never could. I donít blame you for not calling. And I donít blame you for not visiting. Before I go though, even if I donít deserve it, I just wish that one day you would look upon me one last time, and see me as your father.

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The following comments are for "The Distance Between Us"
by pengster13

regrets of a father
I liked the piece in a sad kind of way.

( Posted by: josey [Member] On: August 7, 2002 )

I like how it progressed like a throbbing heart...little by little pouring out emotions, regrets and all...

Sad, but yeah in Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite I remember a line by the Greek Chorus - something like you raise your kids and that's it they grow up and get a house in cincinatti never to visit you again...

( Posted by: webguy [Member] On: August 8, 2002 )

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